The Sons of Southern Ulster
Foundry Folk Songs
Growling Indie Meets Alt. Country via The Back Room of a Pub.
Well; this is certainly an album where you shouldn’t ‘judge by the cover.’ I understand that JJ Kelly and DJ Meagher who make up the band are indeed Sons of Southern Ulster by birth; but that moniker will surely alienate them from certain parts of Ireland and the UKL itself. No? Then there is the cover photo; a quaint picture of some men in flat caps; but hey….it’s actually an IRA Brigade from 1916…….so far; it’s everything I wouldn’t touch with a barge pole; but thankfully they had previously sent me a video that made me want to hear more; a lot more….so we will bypass the other stuff; which bares very little relevance to the musical contents within.
Opening track The Pop Inn; is a biographical song about the pub they visited as teenagers; and performed as a type of ‘talking Blues’ crossed with sub-Clash guitars and chorus. The details are personal to the guys; but brought back many memories of the Kings Head, Punch Bowl and the Jerry of my own youth. Places where I too learned to drink, smoke, argue, play video games and discover a whole new world of music via the big boy’s tastes on the juke boxes.
Cavan Cola is a story in a similar vein; but the guitars this time are straight outta Derry via the Undertones! Personally; I bloody love this song!
Looking at Kelly and Meaghan’s photos they are a bit younger than me; but there references are along the same lines…..listen to the whip sharp guitars and dry vocals on Kung Fu Kicks; and you too will be dragged back to backstreet youth clubs of the 1970’s (or later?).
Then; of course we have the brilliant Rock on Tommy! A phrase I and my friends real out at least once a week much to the bewilderment of anyone under 40 (or not from the UK!). Another tale of a misspent youth in a small town; that will make many of us smile non-stop for 4 minutes and leave the rest shaking their head.
Thankfully politics and religion don’t ever make an appearance here; not even on For The Love of Jesus; which is actually a doom laden tale of needing to get away from their claustrophobic small town; and see the world beyond……all played out as a sub-punk Blues (if such a thing exists).
Foundry Folk Songs closes with more introspection and stinging guitar accompaniament; with the song Sons of Southern Ulster an epic aural landscape condensed into 4 minutes.
This album is ‘different’ in many ways; and that’s ‘different’ in a good way. Listen with an open ear and it’s a set of well constructed tales of Small Towns and small people anywhere in the world; and should be appreciated as such.
Released April 2016